Poetry Book Review: The End of the World by Maria Takolander

Following the success of her first collection of short stories in 2013, The Double, Australian poet Maria Takolander has returned to poetry in the form of the The End of the World, published by Giramondo Press. The volume is separated into three highly distinct parts, so distinct, in fact, one feels as though they are pulled from entirely divergent times and ...

Spotlight on… C.S. Boag

Over a long writing career, C. S. Boag's work has featured in numerous publications, including The Sydney Morning Herald, the former Sydney Sun newspaper and The Bulletin magazine. His first story appeared in Sydney University's Honi Soit magazine and a number of his short stories have been published since. A former columnist and feature writer, he is a winner of the ...

Celebrating our Members’ Success Stories

A big congratulations to these Writers’ Centre members, who have achieved amazing successes in 2014. Many have had their first short stories or poems published, some have won writing competitions, received valuable fellowships or residencies, and others have had their first book published. They are novelists, children’s writers, poets, writers of non-fiction, memoir and more, and they serve as an ...

A week at Varuna, by Helen Thurloe

Day 1 A week at Varuna starts on a Monday afternoon. I arrive early so I can have lunch in Katoomba with author James Roy. In 2012 I did his excellent ‘Write a YA novel in A Year’ course at the NSW Writers’ Centre, and even though my one year YA novel is now a more than two-year effort, I feel ...

Book Review: Fixing the Broken Nightingale by Richard James Allen

Throughout his rich, creative life Richard James Allen has embodied many forms of artistry, from choreographer, performer, filmmaker and scholar, to acclaimed Australian poet, beginning his long list of publications and awards in the early 1980s. Nearly 40 years later his tenth book of poetry, Fixing the Broken Nightingale, from Flying Island Books, is a journey from the comical and personal ...

Book Review of Cracking the Spine (ed. Julie Chevalier and Bronwyn Mehan)

Once sniffed at by literary critics, the short story has undergone a renaissance in recent years as reading patterns change and writers’ centres fill courses on the art of short-story writing. Technical aspects of short stories have been well examined, yet few writers have looked at how individual stories are written. Cracking The Spine goes a long way towards answering ...

Book Review: Warming the Core of Things by Nora Krouk

Reading Nora Krouk’s book, Warming the Core of Things, is akin to discovering a long-lost grandmother who invites you to sit by the fire and listen to her wondrous fairytales. The best bit, though, in Krouk’s case, is that these fairytales are all true and sound more like confessional journal entries than metaphorical narratives. This storyteller is candid about her ...

Spotlight On… Bruce McCabe

  Bruce McCabe was born in 1969 and lived in Kenya, Fiji and Japan before returning to Australia, where he graduated in science from the University of Sydney. He worked for a variety of tech firms before making his name as an international expert on human factors in technology adoption and innovation. Along the way he published several hundred magazine, journal ...

Book Review: Captives by Angela Meyer

In Tom Stoppard’s play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Guildenstern declares that: ‘All your life you live so close to the truth it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye, and when something nudges it into outline it is like being ambushed by a grotesque’. And so it is with the stories in Angela Meyer’s Captives, a tiny yet ...

Screenwriting: What Happens Next? by George Merryman

Legendary film director Alfred Hitchcock is quoted as saying: 'To make a great movie, you need just three things: a great script, a great script and a great script.' I like that quote for two reasons: One, it acknowledges the importance of a good screenplay. And two, in a world filled with auteurs, any director who openly values the work ...

Watch Your Words! Five Vocabulary Tips for Editors By Tony Spencer-Smith

Words are the lifeblood of writing. Combining in myriad ways like the coloured pieces in a kaleidoscope, they can create wondrous effects - or muddy, lifeless, pompous prose that sends readers to sleep.So word choice needs to be a major focus for editors, whether editing their own work or that of others. Here are five word blunders for editors to eliminate: Cut ...

Powering Your Blog by Karen Andrews

You have probably heard about blogging by now - it has been growing in Australia for some years. But if you haven't quite worked out whether it is an activity that will suit you or not, that's okay. Here are some tips that might help you decide: 1. Do it on your terms. Of course, stories are reported in the media of ...

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